Mike Gundy's Oklahoma State Cowboys bring a 5-0 record into Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday in hopes of upsetting the Texas Longhorns (4-2, 2-1) who are favored by four points in this contest. The Longhorns will have to contain mobile quarterback Spencer Sanders, and stop a run-heavy OSU offense if they want to win and keep the goal of a conference championship alive. Texas will play without starting defensive end Jacoby Jones and starting wide receiver Jordan Whittington, both of whom suffered injuries that require surgery in last week's game against Oklahoma.
Does Texas have what it takes to beat the Cowboys for a third-straight year?
Our staff shares their thoughts on what they think will be the outcome of Saturday's game.
Jameson McCausland (5-1)
This is not an ideal spot for Texas to be in coming off the devastating loss to Oklahoma and welcoming Oklahoma State, who is coming off a bye week. Mike Gundy always has his team ready to play and I don't expect this year to be any different.
Oklahoma State presents several difficult matchups, namely the Cowboys ability to run the ball against a Texas defense that just got shredded on the ground. They also have one of the best defenses in the Big 12. I worry about the Texas offensive line being able to open up consistent holes in the running game.
If Texas is able to build on the success they had in the passing game last week and generate a few Spencer Sanders turnovers, it should be enough for a victory. I could see this game going either way, but I will take Texas in a close one.
Score Prediction: Texas 28, Oklahoma State 27
Devon Messinger (4-2)
For the fourth Saturday in a row, the Longhorns will have the pleasure of a 11 A.M. kickoff. This weekend, the Longhorns will square off against #12 Oklahoma State, a team that is coming off of a bye week. As a result, be on the lookout for how conditioning will impact Texas's performance as the defensive side of the ball looked absolutely gassed in the Red River game.
However, ultimately, the key X-factor for Texas will be their defensive line, a unit that mightily struggled in the second half against Oklahoma. Additionally, with Jacoby Jones out with an injury, the Longhorns will need someone to step up. So far this season, redshirt senior running back Jaylen Warren has been heart & soul of the Cowboys offense. If Texas can stop him, and force redshirt junior quarterback Spencer Sanders to make key plays with his arm, the Longhorns will be in a good position to win the game.
Score Prediction: Texas 31, Oklahoma State 27
After a gut-wrenching loss at the Cotton Bowl last week, the Horns are in a spot where any adversity could be completely deflating, but I don’t see that with this squad. They seem to understand they let a massive opportunity slip through their fingers against OU, but it’s not something that derails their goals for the season although the margin of error is slim going forward. OK State comes to town with a statistically great defense but they’ve yet to see anything like the trio of Thompson, Robinson and Worthy. Their scoring offense is the worst it’s been since Mike Gundy took over 15+ years ago, so could that be exactly what the doctor ordered for a Texas defense that’s on its heels? I don’t expect anything other than the absolute madness we’ve seen in the past when these two teams get together, but I like Texas to come out on top whether it’s pretty or ugly and record that statement victory that got away in Dallas.
Score Prediction: Texas 40, Oklahoma State 28
Aaron Carrara (4-2)
Oklahoma State has won the battle with Texas over the last decade, but the Longhorns have won two straight against OSU and look to make it three. Mike Gundy's defense is playing really well, but the Texas offense continues to put up big numbers against teams that boast good defenses. Oklahoma State ranks 18th nationally in total defense and gives up a little over 18 points a game, but I like Casey Thompson and the Longhorns to put up big numbers on offense once again. Texas DC Pete Kwiatkowski will have his front 7 dialed in to stop Spencer Sanders and the run and Texas wins this game in a close one.
Score Prediction: Texas 42, Oklahoma State 38
Tristan Larsen (5-1)
From one undefeated Oklahoma team to the next... Texas may have played one of their best games of the year but unfortunately the Sooners prevailed in the end. Despite the 4-2 start, this team, particularly on the offensive side under Sarkisian, has done a lot of great things. They’ll need to continue that when they take 12th ranked Oklahoma State. The Cowboy defense has been great this year, holding opponents to just 18.6 points per game. How real is that defense? We will find out this week as they’ve yet to face a team like Texas and a player like Bijan Robinson. This week it’s strength vs strength in that aspect. When it comes to the Cowboys offense vs the Longhorns defense it’ll be weakness vs weakness as each unit has failed to breakout thus far in the year. At the end of the day I trust the Longhorns defense more than the Cowboys offense right now. Despite the perfect record I think Texas is the better team and will show that this weekend.
Score Prediction: Texas 31, Oklahoma State 24
Mitch Lovell (5-1)
Although the loss to Oklahoma last week was disappointing, it was the best Steve Sarkisian's offense has looked in Austin. OSU QB Spencer Sanders has been average at best and I think he gives up the ball a couple times leading to a Texas win.
Score Prediction: Texas 38, Oklahoma State 28